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Russia's Health Ministry Taking Bids for Image Makeover

Russia's Ministry of Health is offering to pay 55.6 million rubles ($985,000) for a campaign to improve the image of the country's healthcare services, according to a notice published on the government procurement website.

The bid solicitation seeks proposals for “work on creating and placing television materials aimed at creating a positive image of the Russian health services.”

Bids are being accepted through April 22, according to the notice, which was posted on April 1.

The request comes amid strikes by healthcare workers for better labor conditions and higher wages.

Healthcare workers in the central Russian city of Ufa who reportedly went on a hunger strike last month threatened to stage a new hunger strike starting Monday to protest what they described as “repercussions” against co-workers who demanded better working conditions and higher salaries at previous protests.

Meanwhile, doctors at a number of clinics in Moscow have also gone on strike, Ekho Moskvy reported Thursday.

The image of Russia's healthcare industry has also suffered from media reports of a number of suicides by cancer patients in the country because of their inability to get painkillers.

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